Both the best and worst aspect of the pre-draft period is the churning, unstoppable rumor mill. It's fun to imagine all the possibilities, and everyone likes to play armchair team president and chew up all the juicy tidbits. But those tidbits are often either completely made-up, deliberately dished out as misdirection from secretive front offices, or just plain out-of-date by the time franchises finish doing their homework.
One such nugget out there concerns Miami's Jack McClinton, and suggests that the Knicks have a beady eye on the sharpshooting guard. "Mike D'Antoni's New York Knicks apparently taking a strong liking to senior Jack McClinton, to the point that they could try to buy a pick in the late first round to ensure they land his services," CNN/Sports Illustrated's FanNation says DraftExpress.com reported from the NBA Eurocamp. (See what I mean?)
But, this actually doesn't not make sense, which is our own personal criteria for noting maniacal, sourceless draft rumors (double negatives beef up the integrity of rumors begun with "apparently"). The Knicks could use a reliable shooter, and though McClinton doesn't want to be pigeonholed as "just" such, he is at least that. So if the "more" doesn't pan out for the 6'1" McClinton, whose ball-handling skills are serviceable but not jaw-dropping, then he might still make a successful career tossing up threes as D'Antoni's new Leandro Barbosa.
Hometown fans, however, are taking the news with a hopeful counterclaim that the Heat need the same thing. (They actually need a lot more than that, but a reliable shooting guard wouldn't hurt.) Should the rumor pan out, though, McClinton won't be available even if they do want him: Pat Riley doesn't have a pick until the second round, at no. 43.
And if it doesn't hold water, a Miami-to-Miami scenario isn't impossible (which is nothing, as NBA fans know) -- "I'm hearing a lot of late-first (round) or early-second," McClinton told the Sun-Sentinel last week. "And early-second to mid-second. Basically, it's anywhere from No. 22 to 60. If I'm not taken in the first round, I wouldn't say it would be disappointing. I've worked so hard. Even if you're in the second round, you can still work and get a spot. I love to work. I'll do what I got to do to get there."
If history serves, neither will end up actually happening, and McClinton fans will have to hope for favor from the regional broadcast gods. But until then, well, we'll keep our ear to the wild, wild, Internet. Be that as it may.
Janie Campbell loves her some draft rumormongering. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.